5/02/2006

The Sovereign Will of Man

My title is a joke, of course. When have you ever heard it called the sovereign will of man? Probably never, since such a thing does not exist.
I grew up under the teaching that God died to save us, and that it was up to man to decide whether or not to follow God. I am sure you have all heard the phrase "God votes for you, Satan votes against you and you cast the deciding vote."
I choose.
Free will.
It is like some great, mythical holy (or rather, unholy) grail that we seek. Should we ever find it, then we will know that it is we who are in charge of our lives. As Satan said to Eve, we would be like God.
But, behold the true choice of man.
Behold the world in its fallen state. Behold sin, degradation, pain, suffering and every other evil you might name.
I choose.
In these two words, the heart of man shows that it is not truly broken. The will is not subject to God. It is as if somehow we vainly believe that we might be able to thwart the plans of an Almighty God and therefore congratulate ourselves for the brilliant choice in coming to God.
Read what the prophet Isaiah says to Israel again.
1 "Listen to this, O house of Jacob,
you who are called by the name of Israel
and come from the line of Judah,
you who take oaths in the name of the LORD
and invoke the God of IsraelĂ‚—
but not in truth or righteousness-
2 you who call yourselves citizens of the holy city
and rely on the God of Israel
...
4 For I knew how stubborn you were;
the sinews of your neck were iron,
your forehead was bronze.

This is the heart of those who say I choose, be they unconverted sinners or unrepentant Christians deep in sin. You choose the only thing you can, sin, and really, that is no choice at all.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

As long as the realization that God is in control doesn't become a fatalistic cover-up for not taking personal responsibility before God for your attitude or actions. You don't even need to say the words "I choose" to have an attitude of pride and a total lack of humility. Those attitudes can still be present in the absence of taking personal responsibility, for Christians and non-christians alike.
Christine
(Say hi to the family from me)

Ruth said...

Quite the opposite is true. The realization that God is in total control can only motivate the true Christian to humility. There cannot be a lack of responsibility for our sin because when faced with the power and perfection of God we are at the same time faced with our inabilities and imperfections.

Anonymous said...

Ruth, I am talking about the attitude that goes along with "oh well, it must be God's will that I am this way or that way", obviously not the attitude of the true Christian who is seeking an attitude of humility, but an attitude that is still present among Christians. If you read my post more closely, you will notice that I am referring to attitudes of pride and not to an attitude of humility. It just seemed that needed to be addressed for anyone who would read it and think "well what about..." or who would recognize instances where pride is present when personal responsibility is not taken. I wanted to clarify that responsibility is very different from control. Parents want their kids to grow in responsibility for their actions as they mature, while still respecting and obeying their parents' authority. Since we are God's children, He expects the same from us. Hope that helps clarify my perspective.
Christine

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